I am urging places of worship to apply for protective security fund

The Conservative Government is providing £3.2 million to improve security at places of worship at risk from hate crime attacks

I would urge places of worship in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland to apply for this funding. The Places of Worship Protective Security Fund, which was established in 2016, is now open for the latest round of applications. It helps place of worship such as churches, mosques, gurdwaras, temples and associated faith community centres with funding to improve physical security. This can include more secure gates, locks, alarms and CCTV in order to deter and prevent hate crime attacks.

The fund was simplified and expanded following the terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, last year, with the total funding doubled to £3.2 million. Since its introduction more than 180 grants have been awarded helping 76 churches,75 mosques, 23 gurdwaras and nine Hindu temples.

I would thank local faith leaders for all they have done to support the local community throughout the coronavirus outbreak. Places of worship have been closed in order to protect public health, although they are now able to admit people for individual prayer.

Everybody in ] has the Comour city and two counties has the right to worship without fear of attack or hateful discrimination. If any place of worship in our community feels at risk from hate crimes or attack, I would urge them to apply for this important funding to improve security measures.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has reminded us all of the importance of faith to so many people, and this Conservative Government is determined to keep our places of worship, which give so much back to our community, safe.

The Minister for Countering Extremism Baroness Williams said: “During this global pandemic, personal faith has been a source of comfort and strength for many.“I would urge all places of worship who feel they are vulnerable to hate crime to apply for the fund, and as a government we will do all we can to make your congregations feel safe and protected.”